2011 Precision Product Review: Trimble

With product releases coming this March, Trimble will complete its circle of products and services, filling some voids in the company’s offering inventory and bolstering important features.

A key new component is the DCM-300 modem, which is capable of accessing Trimble VRS Now real-time kinematic corrections while simultaneously allowing for wireless data transfer over Trimble’s Connected Farm system. Job orders, coverage maps and A-B lines may be transferred wirelessly from a central computer to multiple vehicles in different locations for follow-up operations, or within the same field for accurate overlap protection.

Trimble is offering two options; one for use on Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) cellular networks or Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) cellular networks. Trimble offers AT&T and Verizon data plans, or customers can check with their local provider for additional plan options. The modem is available with a single data plan subscription provided through Trimble.

Trimble will also release Farm Works Dispatch, an asset tracking software that will serve as a new component of the Connected Farm solution. Dispatch uses the GPS access and wireless communications capability of the new DCM-300 modem to track vehicle movement and monitor functionality through a central computer.

The Dispatch service plan offers users a visual tool for organizing fleet movement to maximize efficiency. Using email alerts and on-screen maps, Dispatch allows the user to track the location of all field equipment. The system also makes it possible to receive alerts to potentially lost or stolen equipment. The system is compatible with Connected Farm Sync wireless data management software and VRS Now Ag’s cellular-based RTK GPS correction services.

Finally, Trimble has added capabilities to its Field-IQ system, which monitors seed delivery and fertilizer blockage and manages applications of up to six variable rate products. The product now supports row crop planters, air seeders, strip till equipment and spreader platforms.

The Field-IQ system is compatible with the guidance capabilities of the Trimble FmX display or CFX-750 touch screen display, which both run Trimble’s unique overlap detection technology. Trimble reports that farmers using the Field-IQ crop input control system for seed placement have experienced an average savings of 5% to 10% because of reduced waste and lower seed input.

The Field-IQ system is compatible with a wide variety of crop and application equipment and provides monitoring for planters, air seeders, and granular strip till systems.

Monitoring on row crop planting systems allows operators to obtain information related to how their seeding system is performing. including singulation, skips and multiples, and quality of spacing. A relatively new term, singulation is a measure of the mistakes made by a planter, such as skips and multiples, over the course of a planting operation. Like golf, the lower the number, the better the system is performing. Variable- rate fertilizer application capabilities can be driven by a prescription map or real-time with Trimble’s on-the-go sensor technology, GreenSeeker.

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